A 5-year-old boy nearly drowned in a South Florida Apartment Complex pool. The incident happened on April 14th at a new apartment complex on Paseo Boulevard in downtown Doral, a city within Miami-Dade County. Paramedics responded and found the child in full cardiac arrest. Lt. Felipe Lay of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said that when they arrived a person had already performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the boy. First responders, however, had to revive the child from unconsciousness. The boy was transported him to Palmetto General Hospital for further care. The police are investigating the incident.
An alligator attacked a two year old boy Tuesday night in front of his parents at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, Florida. The toddler is still missing. Reports state that the boy and his father were near the water’s edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon when and alligator grabbed and pulled the boy underwater. The father attempted to rescue his son by attempting to pry the alligator’s mouth open. The mother also jumped in to save her son. Both parents alerted a lifeguard who called 911. The attack happened just after 9:20 p.m. as the resort was hosting a “Movie under the Stars” event.
Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission search teams, assisted by Disney boats, launched a search and rescue mission. Throughout the night the search included helicopters, sonar teams, marine units and alligator trappers. Five alligators were pulled from the lagoon during the search which were euthanized to determine if they were involved in the attack. So far there is no evidence that the alligator involved is one of the five caught.
Alligator attacks do occur in Florida each year so much so that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission keeps statics on events involving alligators biting humans. In 1986 a 10-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. That boy survived as a result of his brother and sister hitting the alligator until it released the boy.
The resort injury lawyers of Brais Brais & Rusak were successful in convincing a Federal court to apply Florida law to a death that occurred in the Bahamas. The case of John Van Hoy, Jr. is heartbreaking. John was on vacation with his fiancée Nicole at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort located Nassau. During his stay, he decided to refresh himself in one of the resort’s hot tubs. As he went under to wet his hair, he became entrapped on the bottom suction drain. Despite the efforts of many people, including other guests at the Sandals’ resort, John remained stuck on the bottom of the hot tub until he drowned. John died that night leaving behind two sons, his mother, father, siblings and Nicole. His death occurred because the hot tub was outfitted by a 12″ x 12″ flat drain cover, the motor / pump assembly were not equipped with a vacuum release system, there were no emergency shut off switch located around the hot tub and it is believed the pump room was locked delaying the shut off of the motor.
Brais Brais & Rusak were hired to represent John’s estate and family. The law firm filed a wrongful death action in Miami, Florida against multiple defendants including: (1) Sandals; (2) the drain cover and pump manufacturer Hayward; (3) the motor manufacturer A.O. Smith as well as the component part distributors Hospitality Purveyors and SCP Distributors. In an effort to significantly reduce the amount of any awardable damages to the Van Hoys, Sandals sought application of Bahamian law to the lawsuit. Under Bahamian law, survivors cannot seek damages for emotion pain and suffer for the death of their loved one and the estate cannot claim damages for any pre-death pain and suffering. As a result, the application of Bahamian law would reduce the Van Hoy’s claim to the amount of the wages John would likely earn in his lifetime and burial expenses. The issue was taken up by the Court in a pretrial motion. Brais Brais & Rusak argued the United States, particularly Missouri and Florida, has a more significant relation to the case than the Bahamas and United States law should apply. The Court agreed with our legal analysis and issued an order applying Florida damages and liability law to the case.
This was Brais Brais & Rusak’s second major victory in this case. Last year Sandals and other defendants attempted to dismiss the case in its entirety requesting the case to be tried in the Bahamas. This motion was denied and the case was allowed to proceed in Florida. You can read more about that decision in our article Judge Rules Sandals Resorts & Pool Component Manufacturers Must Stand Trial in Miami, Florida for Bahamas Entrapment Drowning Death.
The W South Beach Hotel located at 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida is the subject of a lawsuit involving an alleged assault of a New Jersey tourist by prostitutes claimed to be “working” in the hotel. Court papers reveal that on January 19, 2013 Anna Burgese, while walking through The W South Beach lobby with her husband, was assaulted by an unknown number of prostitutes. Specifically the complaint reads Mrs. Burgese was “grabbed by behind and thrown with great force into a stone wall head first” then “tackled to the ground and struck by her assailant.” It is alleged that the prostitutes confused Mrs. Burgese as another prostitute who was capturing business at the hotel thus prompting the attack. As a result of the assault, she was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital for treatment.
The lawsuit sets forth various claims of premises liability negligence against the The W South Beach as well as a civil remedy claim for the commission of criminal acts. The lynchpin of the claims is the allegations that The W South Beach knowingly allows prostitutes to solicit guests on its property and in the past had instances where the prostitutes became violent towards guest and visitors.